It was a little more than a year ago that Axios HR President Kellie Haines decided to give herself the day off.
It was Haines’ birthday, and she simply wanted to take the day off to celebrate.“She came back (the next day) and said, ‘From now on, no one works on their birthday,’” said Shannon Burkel, executive vice president of staffing solutions for Axios HR, a Grand Rapids-based company that provides human resource services to about 400 mid-sized businesses. “That cost our company no investment. It cost us very little money, we had low loss in productivity, and it was the biggest mover to our employee retention.
“It was a simple, kind of accidental benefit, and it’s now in our handbook. It’s a policy. I love it.”
And with unemployment rates hovering around the 3 percent mark in West Michigan, companies are increasingly taking creative steps — such as Axios’ “birthdays off” policy — to recruit, retain and promote employees.
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